Saturday, October 20, 2007

Doing Nothing

I surprised myself with the title "The Lazy Editor," and for the next few months (or as long as I am unemployed) it is as accurate as a self-given nickname can be.

I am reminded of a scene from the movie Office Space. Peter, the anti-hero of this cubicle saga, has a conversation with his blue-collar neighbor about what he would do with a million dollars. While his neighbor would do "two chicks at the same time," honest Peter says he would do nothing. While Peter is an anti-hero, he has become the icon of a generation, and ultimately, his job at a tech company represents the fear of many a humanities graduate with little to no marketable skills.

We'd all love to do nothing, but that's not how the world works, right?

I'm going to prove you wrong, world. I'm doing nothing right now, and I plan on keeping it that way. I'm going to, as long as possible, avoid the trappings of a safe and secure Office Space existence. I've been there - trapped in a cubicle until 5 p.m. When I arrived at work, I looked forward to my 12:30 lunch break (which involved eating some frozen Indian meal in a black plastic bowl while chatting nonsense with co-workers with whom I had little in common). After 1 p.m., I'd anxiously wait for 5:00, when I would fight traffic for a half-hour and come home to a lager and some brainless sitcom (Bernie Mac and That 70s Show: high quality).

Now I do nothing. It's exactly what you'd think it would be, and not-so-great at the same time. Believe me - it's not the ideal you think it is. I try not to think of all the horrible things that could happen to me as I live without health insurance. And did I mention the total lack of financial security? All this to sleep in and avoid a day under florescent lighting?

The irony is that I don't think of myself as lazy. I believe I'm a hard worker, the kind of employee most employers want. (Emphasis on "most".) I believe I am not typical of my peers because I am diligent and dependable. I have marketable skills - good skills. Skills beyond those of an English teacher, the default profession of almost every English major. I was offered a job as a media specialist last week, and it was a good job. One I might possibly enjoy, but it was still an office job. So I turned it down.

Honestly, I want to live Peter's dream, even if it's for a little while. I just want to do nothing.

(Clarification: I am editing reports as a freelance contractor and living off the savings of my previous 40-hour-a-week job. I predict it will last me through Christmas.)


Autumn said...

Go, Gina, go!

Kiapita said...

You had *nothing* in common with your co-workers? I thought we were both pretty jaded about evangelical culture. And we both like Trader Joe's. And we're both quite intolerant of people who think they can write, but whose prose is awkward and clumsy and leads to mental distress in the reader. Though perhaps you wouldn't go as far as I would when discussing such, um, auteurs and say things like, "She's like a baby who craps in her pants and says, 'Look what I did! Aren't you proud of me?'"

I think you should add a link to my blog. I could add a link to yours. We'd be cross-linked!